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Storm Born

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Author: Richelle Mead

Published: August 1st 2008 by Zebra

Format: Mass Market Paperback , 361 pages

Isbn: 9781420100969

Language: English


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Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants... Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants... Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it. Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...

30 review for Storm Born

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kat Kennedy

    Did you hear that sound? That sound, right there? Okay, well, it's either the sound of my heart forsaking Mead for all eternity, or there's a murderer whose broken into your house and is SNEAKING UP BEHIND YOU!!!!! Look over your shoulder just to check that I'm wrong. You know you want to do it! Storm Born, the tragic tale of a woman forced by cruel fate to be hit on by ALL the men. Yes. That's what this story is about. Okay, there are fairies and she has to recover some damsel in distress but bas Did you hear that sound? That sound, right there? Okay, well, it's either the sound of my heart forsaking Mead for all eternity, or there's a murderer whose broken into your house and is SNEAKING UP BEHIND YOU!!!!! Look over your shoulder just to check that I'm wrong. You know you want to do it! Storm Born, the tragic tale of a woman forced by cruel fate to be hit on by ALL the men. Yes. That's what this story is about. Okay, there are fairies and she has to recover some damsel in distress but basically the novel is about Eugenie's love life. I suppose my problem with Dark Born is that all of Mead's washed up, tried and not-so-true tropes are here. Again. Strong heroine (who will undoubtedly end the series as a complete moron), sexy hero who heroine loves, though nobody really knows why. Secondary sexy love interest who is way more awesome than sexy hero and who Mead spends far more time fleshing out a real relationship with the heroine, but who is apparently not the heroine's twue loff. For reasons completely unknown. I will inevitably like this love interest far more than the banal and boring love interest Mead champions. The one thing I'll say about this novel is that Mead writes good sex. That's her one redeeming virtue. She writes gripping, interesting characters, a rich world and stories that hint at great possibilities, but Mead absolutely sucks at the follow through. The difference with this novel is that I'm not interested in following through to watch her crash and burn yet another series. This novel reminded me of a quote by Dan Hemmens from Ferretbrain. "Rape is not the occupational hazard of having a vagina." Thank you. Now I'll address the fictional critics in my head by saying that yes, Mead gave all these douches a reason to rape the protagonist that wasn't just about sex. But... well, it just doesn't count and I'll explain why. I don't know about you, but *I* am personally sick of stories that tell me that because I have a vagina, I am a walking talking victim waiting to happen. Because novel after novel tells the same story. No matter how strong, powerful or kickarse you are as a heroine, you are still a victim and will need to be rescued by a man. Possibly several times. I'm sick to death of it. Barely a page goes by in this book where rape isn't mentioned. Even if it's just to say, 'Eugenie, you're so beautiful I'd rape you and LIKE it!" This book almost treats rape like a fucking compliment. "I've had five rape attempts today, what about you?" "Oh, I've had three." "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. Don't worry, maybe tomorrow will pick up!" I have a problem with drilling into people's heads that women are victims. Always. Vulnerable, precious little petals. Don't let them out of the house or they'll trip over their puritanical vaginas and get raped. Or what about a message just as bad? Almost all men will rape if given the chance. It's the rare few who won't take the opportunity for a good ol' free for all on an unwilling woman. Now hold on for an even bigger criticism. Of all the worst things, this was the WORST. POSSIBLE. THING! [image error] This book... is like Anita Blake. It's got multiple love interests, fairies, bargains made, political sex, sexual awakening of formerly prudish, loner character, mystery, evil women bitches out to get you. It's all so very reminiscent. You know what? Don't read this book. Just go watch Generation 4 My Little Pony instead. I promise there's no rape there and it's about a thousand times better and more entertaining. And there is no rape.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MischaS_

    Edit (19/5/2020): Lately, I had a bit of bad luck when it came to books, I was more often disappointed than not. So, that's a perfect time for a re-read of I book that I've loved, right? And I still do! There is not much for me to say other than that I had an absolute blast reading this. I was grinning, laughing, I was enjoying what I was reading. “Oh, God. I’m trapped in the fucking Chronicles of Narnia." "I’m sure that would be an amusing reference, if I understood it.” This is one of the few book Edit (19/5/2020): Lately, I had a bit of bad luck when it came to books, I was more often disappointed than not. So, that's a perfect time for a re-read of I book that I've loved, right? And I still do! There is not much for me to say other than that I had an absolute blast reading this. I was grinning, laughing, I was enjoying what I was reading. “Oh, God. I’m trapped in the fucking Chronicles of Narnia." "I’m sure that would be an amusing reference, if I understood it.” This is one of the few books that has lines on the spine from how often I held it open. Especially that one which goes to pages 102 and 103 is really worrying me! Anyway, I totally loved all the little "foreshadowing" for the rest of the series which I did not see before. Love it! “You used your power to toss one rock at me?" he exclaimed, an almost comic note of incredulity in his voice. "On the contrary," I heard Dorian say pleasantly. "I didn't use magic for that. I just threw it.” But what I did not like was Kiyo and during this whole book, I was dying a bit inside because of the idea that he will be in the rest of the series. Original: One of my favourite books. And definitely my favourite series by Richelle Mead. However, I wish there was no Kiyo - he's annoying and taking too much space. Dorian should be there more, like all the time!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Helen 2.0

    "You would do better to find someone milder and more malleable. Someone less ambitious." I considered his words. Maybe he was right. Maybe. "Men without ambition are boring." "And that attitude, mistress, is why the females of your kind continue to struggle for equality. And why they continue to fail." #tooreal Storm Born follows the adventures of Eugenie Markham aka "Odile", a shaman who banishes ghosts, elementals, and fairy gentry in odd jobs from her home in the desert. While trying to resc "You would do better to find someone milder and more malleable. Someone less ambitious." I considered his words. Maybe he was right. Maybe. "Men without ambition are boring." "And that attitude, mistress, is why the females of your kind continue to struggle for equality. And why they continue to fail." #tooreal Storm Born follows the adventures of Eugenie Markham aka "Odile", a shaman who banishes ghosts, elementals, and fairy gentry in odd jobs from her home in the desert. While trying to rescue a teenage girl from the clutches of the evil gentry king Aeson, she wanders into the Otherworld and seeks help from Dorian, another gentry king with whom Aeson doesn't get along. What Eugenie doesn't realize is that a recent Otherworld prophecy has proclaimed her as the soon-to-be mother of a great conqueror. Lewd propositions, lots of fighting, and a healthy dose of smut ensue as every being with a pair of legs and a dick tries to become Eugenie's next baby daddy. I have a lot of feelings regarding the characters of the Dark Swan series so far. They will be best summed up in gifs! Eugenie/Odile: imagined as: if you ask me: Kiyo: imagined as: if you ask me: Dorian: imagined as: my reaction: Volusian: imagined as: my reaction: Everyone else: This is part one in a series BR with the BB&B peeps.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest When I was a teenager and did not know the difference between good fiction and bad fiction, I used to sit and read stories on this site called Quizilla - which, funnily enough, mostly had bad fiction. There, I read a lot of anime fanfiction and original fiction paranormal romance stories usually involving vampires or demons. One of the common themes? The heroine was nearly always a virgin and whoever won the sexual race/lottery and got t Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest When I was a teenager and did not know the difference between good fiction and bad fiction, I used to sit and read stories on this site called Quizilla - which, funnily enough, mostly had bad fiction. There, I read a lot of anime fanfiction and original fiction paranormal romance stories usually involving vampires or demons. One of the common themes? The heroine was nearly always a virgin and whoever won the sexual race/lottery and got to have sex with her first usually unlocked some sort of magical sex-triggered super power that would help them rule the world. So obviously, the heroines in these stories got kidnapped and/or threatened with rape a lot, because this is what immortals do: scope out Craigslist ads that say: "Me: human girl with magical hoo-ha. You: evil demonic overlord who wants to get some. Let's drag this psychodrama out for 80k words or so, or until the author grows up and gets bored." Why do I bring this up? STORM BORN was literally that bad fic from my childhood retold. Eugenie Markham is a Ghostbuster of the Otherworld, which is cool - but it turns out she's also the daughter of a really powerful immortal and there's a prophecy that states that if someone has sex with her and gets her pregnant, their heir will rule the world. What does this mean? For the majority of the book, nearly every single male character the heroine encounters tries to rape her. Every. Single. One. There's also two heroes (identifiable by the fact that they do not rape the heroine - thank God). I don't like love triangles and this one is pretty bad. There's Kiyo, a half-Japanese, half-Latino kitsune, who's this boring nice guy who likes to be dominant in the bedroom (sort of) and then there's Dorian, a faerie king, who's this boring player guy who likes to be dominant in the bedroom (sort of). Also, he has a rope fetish. I didn't really like either of them. They were bland, although Dorian was the better of the two. This made me so upset because the heroes in Vampire Academy were so broody and attractive, so I know she can write good heroes. They just weren't present here. This is actually my second time reading STORM BORN. I read it for the first time when I was in college and really liked it - I gave it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Now, after reading it again, I'm kind of wondering what my 21-year-old self was thinking. STORM BORN is incredibly problematic and not just because of the rape plot. She has a roommate who pretends to be Native American to score with babes (ugh), and everyone calls him "Indian" (UGH) and it's portrayed as soooo quirky you guys, ha ha, cultural appropriation is so funny (UGH!!!). At one point, after she and Dorian have rope bondage sex, she tells him that she feels uncomfortable because bondage is basically rape. Um, no it isn't? Also, NO IT ISN'T? I thought that was an incredibly shitty thing to say, especially since she was the one who asked for the rope in the first place. He corrects her, and explains, but still ew. Don't even get me started on the whole Jasmine plotline either. That was gross. I tried to think about how I wanted to rate this book because some of the sex scenes were okay, and there was a lot of creativity that went into building this world. Mead doesn't just stick to the usual cannon of werewolves and vampires - she did her research and came up with some characters you normally don't see in paranormal fiction. But there was also a lot of stuff that was just really cringe-worthy or badly-done in this book and I couldn't in good conscience give it anything higher than a 2*. It was fun reading a story that could have been straight out of my teen years - but they're the teen years for a reason. You grow up, move on, and find something better. UNFORTUNATELY, someone (i.e. me) bought all four books in this series because they were bundled together for $2.99 (it was a really good deal, okay), so I guess I'll see you on the other side. 2 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more

    Reviewed by: Rabid Reads Richelle Mead is one of those authors who's grown on me, slowly but steadily, since I first discovered her ten(ish) years ago. At this point, I've pretty much read everything she's written (BLOODLINES being the one exception), but for whatever reason, she's never one of my obvious choices whenever someone asks me who my favorite authors are. DARK SWAN is a perfect analogy for my relationship with with Mead. My most recent (and more than likely last) reread of the series ha Reviewed by: Rabid Reads Richelle Mead is one of those authors who's grown on me, slowly but steadily, since I first discovered her ten(ish) years ago. At this point, I've pretty much read everything she's written (BLOODLINES being the one exception), but for whatever reason, she's never one of my obvious choices whenever someone asks me who my favorite authors are. DARK SWAN is a perfect analogy for my relationship with with Mead. My most recent (and more than likely last) reread of the series hammered home why, as much as I tell myself I love it, I'm never completely convinced. I realize that's a kind of confusing statement, but as I'm kind of confused myself, it's appropriate. Let me explain . . . *crosses fingers and hopes for the best* Why I love/hate STORM BORN by Richelle Mead: 1. Fae are my favorite supernatural creatures, and Mead gives good Fae. Mead's version of Faerie is everything a lover of folklore could ask for. The individual kingdoms are subject to their monarch's whim, the landscape itself defies physics, and the inhabitants are as diverse and tricksy as anything found in the in between spaces where European fairy tales thrive. BUT. The men are rapey assholes. Maybe not all of them, but enough of them are that I gave up trying to keep track of all the times Eugenie had to fend off unwanted advances, b/c various gentry were trying to knock her up, b/c prophecy. Ugh. 2. Eugenie is a great urban fantasy heroine. She's well-trained and efficient. She fearlessly confronts Fae interlopers in the human world, protecting those who can't protect themselves. She's a little bit damaged, but instead of whining or feeling sorry for herself, she embraces her inner snark. Professionally, she's just likable. BUT. She's also judgmental as hell and stupid enough in her romantic relationships that you wish her evil minion Volusian was free to do all the terrible things he threatens to do to her. Ughhhh. 3. Dorian is friggin' HOT. Seriously. The King of the Autumn Court is one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends, and he will remain one regardless of how much the rest of this world depreciates: Long auburn hair, reminiscent of the trees outside, hung around him, highlighted with every shade of red and gold conceivable. He could have been autumn incarnate. He had the most perfect skin I’d ever seen in such a vivid redhead: smooth and ivory, with no freckles or rosy color. A cloak of forest-green velvet covered unremarkable dark pants and a loose, white button-up shirt. He had well-shaped cheekbones and delicate features. Even if I didn't have a thing for gingers--which I totally do--I would worship at Dorian's alter, b/c beyond all his red and gold glory, his kink (just some light bondage, people, don't get nervous) is off the charts sexy. Off. The. Charts. BUT. Kiyo. *flares nostrils* As much as I love Dorian, I hate with equal fervor, the self-righteous half-kitsune who enables Eugenie's early refusal to accept her heritage. Ughhhhhhhh. And she can't make up her damn mind between the two of them. SPOILER ALERT: the entire four book series is nearly over before she finally chooses. It's extremely vexing. And that's it in a nutshell. For everything I love, there's a counterpart that I hate. But my love of the good things is so great that I can't stop reading her. Which makes me hate myself a little bit. If there's such a thing as a dysfunctional relationship with an author or series, this is it. Read at your own risk.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is one book that I have mixed feelings about. There were some aspects I really liked...and some, not so much. I'll go into the negatives first: Quite frankly, this book read like Eugenie's Adventures in Paranormal Dating to me. I am just not a fan of chick-lit, and that whole aspect was sort of a turn off to me. I felt that there was too much emphasis on Eugenie's sex/dating life, and her status as a highly sought-after sex partner, for whatever reason. That left me cold. In theory, it was in This is one book that I have mixed feelings about. There were some aspects I really liked...and some, not so much. I'll go into the negatives first: Quite frankly, this book read like Eugenie's Adventures in Paranormal Dating to me. I am just not a fan of chick-lit, and that whole aspect was sort of a turn off to me. I felt that there was too much emphasis on Eugenie's sex/dating life, and her status as a highly sought-after sex partner, for whatever reason. That left me cold. In theory, it was interesting to delve into Eugenie's secret heritage as the Storm King's daughter, but for the focus to be on who could get her pregnant and who wanted to have sex with her so often seemed to limit her importance as a whole person. Also, I wasn't really comfortable with the fact that she was having relationships, or should I say, sexual relations with two different men in this book, and the interval wasn't that far apart. I know that life happens, and people drift apart. And this is real life for a lot of women to be in these kinds of relationships, but it's not something I prefer to read about. Her choices don't make sense, and don't seem very rational to me. She had gotten burned by jumping into intimacy so fast with Kiyo, it seemed to me to be foolhardy to have sex with Dorian so soon. And she would have had sex with Dorian sooner if her issues with the gentry (faerie) hadn't been so fervent. I am very torn about this, because I liked Kiyo and Dorian very much, and I could certainly see the appeal. I think I would have liked it better if she had kept things at the flirting level with one of the guys, and explored a sexual relationship with the other in a different book. I've been called a prude, but I won't make any apologies for how I process things. My other big issue was there was a little too much showing and not telling. As a big action fan, I like to see the action sequences show a lot of intensity. I didn't feel that way with a lot of the ones in this book. I felt like it was a bit too static. A good action scene puts the reader into the story, and that didn't happen to me with many of the ones in this book. My last issue was the over-inflated importance of Eugenie, almost from the beginning. It was too much for me. She was the strongest, and most powerful, and she could kick some serious butt, and everyone in the Otherworld was afraid of her. I would have liked it better if this was shown to me through the unfolding plot, as opposed to pre-assumed. I think it would have made this book pop a lot more if I got to see how kick-butt Eugenie was without the editorial, and it raised questions for me why she was so freaking badass. Then, when I found out she was the Storm King's daughter, I would have been like, no wonder. What I liked: I loved the concept of the Faerie otherworld. Big fae fan here. I really got a kick out of all the kingdoms and the denizens within. Faerie is so interesting to me, with the complexity of character-dark and light. They are not so easily categorized as good or evil. That appeals to me as a reader, because their actions are by nature unpredictable and fascinating. I think the use of various mythological creatures from different cultures was pretty awesome. I love it when I read a book and it encourages me to go and look up a creature that I'm not familiar with, such as the fachan, a Celtic creature who resembles a hairy cyclops. Eugenie's shaman abilities were interesting. I think there could have been more impact if there was more showing here as well. I felt somewhat disconnected as the narrative explored how Eugenie opened up the portals to the Otherworld and to the land of the dead. But overall, I liked the idea. Dorian really got my attention. Something about him just appealed, big time. I'm leaning towards Eugenie choosing him. He has this enigmatic, refined, but dark depth aspect that is calling my name. I like the way he lays his cards on the table with Eugenie and treats her as his equal. He's honest about who he is, so I don't see him resorting to treachery to get what he wants from Eugenia. I respected that about him. Kiyo was also a nice love interest. There's something about him that doesn't click with me, which surprises me, since I love that he's a Japanese kitsune fox-shifter and that his father is Mexican. And he's a veterinarian. I love how he will protect Eugenie, no matter what. He's clearly crazy about her. He might be a little too eager for me. Maybe that's what it is. All in all: This was a pretty good book. I had some issues with the focus of the story. I will admit I don't like urban fantasy where the main plot emphasis is on sex, and this book falls in that category. For what it was, I was drawn in and I enjoyed reading it. Despite the major-ish flaws, it was still a strong read, hence the four star rating. I have to see where this story goes, but I really hope Thorn Queen doesn't have Eugenie going back and forth between both men sexually, and horrors, doesn't introduce yet another sex partner. I might have to jump ship then.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Read with the Urban Fantasy crew at Buddies Books & Baubles WARNING: BEWARE OF THE BERMUDA-LOVE-TRIANGLE: Okay look love triangles are one of those things that I will put up with in a story if I like everything else but at the same time they bug the shit out of me. Emotionally I struggle with them because I’m an ALL-IN kind of girl so I never really understand it. I’m the kind of girl that always just casually dated until I found one person that I meshed with better than the others I was dating a Read with the Urban Fantasy crew at Buddies Books & Baubles WARNING: BEWARE OF THE BERMUDA-LOVE-TRIANGLE: Okay look love triangles are one of those things that I will put up with in a story if I like everything else but at the same time they bug the shit out of me. Emotionally I struggle with them because I’m an ALL-IN kind of girl so I never really understand it. I’m the kind of girl that always just casually dated until I found one person that I meshed with better than the others I was dating and then move to exclusively date them. And once in I’m IN….as in maybe I notice when another guy is attractive but I definitely never get the I could be in love with two different men scenario. That said the other story in this is strong enough that I’m going to let the love triangle go for now. By the end of this I clearly have someone I’m rooting for in the l♥ve department but more than that I like the idea and mesh up of the Fae realm and the human realm in this book and the different monsters, demons magic etc… It was a cool introduction to the world and with Eugenie’s role in the potential prophecy things could get really hectic and messy. Eugenie is like a supernatural private eye. If you have a demon that has taken possession of your favorite running shoes you call her to exercise it back to the underworld. Because of her strange hours and odd jobs she feels really on the outside of society and doesn’t have many friends and definitely hasn’t had much luck in the relationship department. “Fuck, Eugenie. You’re becoming a hermit. I almost miss Dean. He was an asshole, but at least he got you out of the house.” I made a face. Dean was my last boyfriend; we’d broken up six months ago. The split had been kind of unexpected for both of us. I hadn’t expected to find him screwing his real estate agent, and he hadn’t expected to get caught. So when she meets a tall dark and handsome man in a bar and he seems to get her and drops all the normal crap that people say to just give her some honesty she feels a strong connection to him. “It’s good to know what flowers are what. Makes it easier to send them. And impress women.” eyed him and then swirled the beer in my bottle. “Are you trying to impress me?” He shrugged. “Mostly I’m just trying to make conversation.” I pondered that, deciding if I wanted to play this game or not. Wondering if I could. I smiled a little. “What?” he asked. “I don’t know. Just thinking about flowers. And impressing people. I mean, how strange is that we bring plant sex organs to people we’re attracted to? What’s up with that? It’s a weird sign of affection.” As the story progresses we find out that Eugenie might have other reasons for not feeling completely at home in the human world and as she discovers the power that is inside of her with the help of another man King Dorian of the Oak lands she can’t help but feel attracted to him as well. And let’s be honest…who could help feeling attracted to him. He is powerful, charismatic and charming. He also likes to tie people up….I don’t really have a bondage fetish but Dorian makes me think I could. “I won’t bother with the obvious things,” he said. “Honestly the main reason…well, in one night, I think I might have convinced you that not all gentry are monsters. Might. You still have a long way to go. But you’ve already been intimate with one—or something else from this world—and you can’t stop thinking about it. And not because you hated it. You’ll mix that with what you’ve seen tonight, and then you really won’t know what to think. “I want to make love to you while that indecision still torments you, while you’re still not sure if I’m a god or a monster or simply a human like you. I want to be with you in that ultimate moment of vulnerability, when your desire wars with your instincts and every touch of my body triggers both fear and pleasure in you.” “Fear? Are you threatening to rape me like every other gentry lately?” “No. I told you, I don’t take women by force. But it doesn’t matter. You’ll come to me by choice.” “Not likely.” “Oh, very likely. Eugenie needs Dorian’s help to save a girl that was kidnapped by another king in the Fae Realm. Most of this book is about learning about the Fae realm and the different magical powers in it and in Eugenie so that she can save the girl. The rest of the book is about Eugenie being of two worlds and trying to come to terms with that and the man in each of those worlds she is attracted too. So back to the love triangle discussion. Eugenie’s almost instant love and attraction for each of the men is over the top. But if you take into account that she is really horrible at relationships and really doesn’t have any experience with them for the most part then it makes a little more sense. Still that portion is a little more rushed, but the sex is hot and let’s just say Eugenie doesn’t have any problems with getting to the nitty gritty but I really want her to take a little more charge of her decisions and her sex life. She often tries hard to give power to the other person she is with and I really wanted her to own her decisions. There are some other notable characters in Tim, Eugenie’s roommate who is Polish but pretends to be Indian in order to get girls, it is hilarious. And then there is Volusian a powerful spirit bound to Eugenie that must serve her now but if he ever breaks free there will be hell to pay. “Aw, don’t sound so glum. Think of it as job security.” “Make no mistake, mistress. I may protect you now, but as soon as I have the chance, I will rip the flesh from your body and tear your bones apart. I will ensure you suffer so gravely that you will beg me for death. Yet, even then, your soul will not find relief. I will torture it for all eternity.” This is a good start up to a series and since I really liked the Georgina Kincaid series overall I’m willing to go through some emotional strife with the love triangle in hopes that the overall vision is as good. *crossing fingers*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I love Mead's Vampire Academy series, like Succubus books as well; naturally I expected to enjoy Storm Born too. Unfortunately, I was wrong. In fact, I couldn't believe how bad it was. Did Richelle actually write this? First of all, the plot itself was very weak. There was no point to the story, no climax, just a few things thrown together with no purpose. Events seemed to have been made up just to fill in the space between the sex scenes. Characters were unrelatable, unlikable, acted irrationall I love Mead's Vampire Academy series, like Succubus books as well; naturally I expected to enjoy Storm Born too. Unfortunately, I was wrong. In fact, I couldn't believe how bad it was. Did Richelle actually write this? First of all, the plot itself was very weak. There was no point to the story, no climax, just a few things thrown together with no purpose. Events seemed to have been made up just to fill in the space between the sex scenes. Characters were unrelatable, unlikable, acted irrationally. I finished the book not caring about anybody. Mythology which is central to any fantasy book was uninspired and boring. This was truly the weakest of Mead's books. If I were her, I wouldn't bother to continue this series and instead concentrate on her better ones. There is absolutely no way I will be reading "Thorn Queen." P.S. S&M much?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    I could not get into this at all. I'm a big Richelle Mead fan since reading her Succubus series but I feel she majorly let herself down with this one. I didn't care for Eugenie Markham once during this novel, I felt no real connection with her and she didn't even have the witty sarcasm that I so loved about Georgina Kincaid. The plot was weak and just generally messy, that's not even mentioning the weird mythology overkill that interested me about as much as watching paint dry... I couldn't tell I could not get into this at all. I'm a big Richelle Mead fan since reading her Succubus series but I feel she majorly let herself down with this one. I didn't care for Eugenie Markham once during this novel, I felt no real connection with her and she didn't even have the witty sarcasm that I so loved about Georgina Kincaid. The plot was weak and just generally messy, that's not even mentioning the weird mythology overkill that interested me about as much as watching paint dry... I couldn't tell you what the basic folklore/mythology behind it was because my head got so screwed up in an array of odd creatures and poor characters. Also, if Richelle Mead had instead released several short stories of this kind entitle 'BDSM Erotica', I would have probably been more impressed. Because that's essentially what it was. And, hey, I'm not against a bit of S&M with my smut, but at least get your story right first before you break out the whips and chains. I kind of felt that this book was just some sort of unleashing of Mead's weird fantasies - couldn't she have just started a blog and spared me the anticipation of thinking "oh great, another Richelle Mead novel" only to then be faced with the disappointment that inevitably followed. Mead shouldn't have promised the reader a urban fantasy when all we got was smut. And about that... it never really does it for me when the heroine meets a gorgeous (and sexy and hot and buff) guy in the first few chapters and gets it on right away. I'm a fan of suspense, I want to feel that inner "yay!" when the heroine you're rooting for finally sleeps with that guy you just wish was real. But here I had no time to give a damn about Kiyo (or Eugenie) before they got naked. So even the smut (that the book was pretty much centred around) didn't really give me what I wanted anyway. In future I'll just stick to the Succubus series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    This was a pretty average first book in a series. It wasn't bad and it wasn't really good, it was just...there. The world building wasn't particularly developed, which was rather disappointing. Because I found Eugenie irritating and her love triangle boring, I was hoping for an intricate world to capture my attention. No such luck. The beginning of this book seemed to crawl by. Maybe it just felt tedious as the author set up the story and world? I don't know, all I know is that it dragged until a This was a pretty average first book in a series. It wasn't bad and it wasn't really good, it was just...there. The world building wasn't particularly developed, which was rather disappointing. Because I found Eugenie irritating and her love triangle boring, I was hoping for an intricate world to capture my attention. No such luck. The beginning of this book seemed to crawl by. Maybe it just felt tedious as the author set up the story and world? I don't know, all I know is that it dragged until about page 200. Once we got more page time with Dorian and got to see Eugenie work on her powers it became more interesting. Eugenie's relationship with Kiyo baffled me. Why exactly does he mean so much to you after you've spent a few hours together? You don't know him at all, but you refuse to think anything bad about him. You can't even bring yourself to suspect someone who has good cause to see you dead, because you trust Kiyo and he seems to trust them. Seriously, sometimes I wanted Eugenie to get kidnapped just so she'd learn the same lesson most every 7 year old has. You don't trust strangers. Dorian was the most interesting character we encountered. His attitude was rather fascinating. He was always bored and ready to play, but you could feel that there was a much different character under the surface. We got a glimpse of him during times of crisis and I'm interested in seeing more. Dorian's fascination with ropes led to some interesting scenes. I would have enjoyed Eugenie's attitude toward submission more if I thought it was less of a cop out. Eugenie's prejudice and stubbornness got old after a while. I don't mind watching character growth, but I hate seeing people make dumb decisions (again and again) just because they're blinded by prejudice. She also had a really bad habit of admitting the likelihood of a truth to herself and then turning around 2 seconds later and denying it to anyone who tries to make her face the truth. I liked watching Eugenie's spirits bicker back and forth. It was amusing bouncing between one wanting to be her best friend, one steeped in misery and depression, and one dreaming about slowly killing her. Her friend Tim was also a lot of fun. He seemed to take everything in stride. ***SPOILERS*** What was up with the ending? Eugenie decided to risk her own life saving Kiyo from death. While there she lets herself be used for sex. What? What was the whole point of throwing that in there? The whole interlude seemed out of place and over the top. Then to come back and dump Dorian to work it out with her precious Kiyo? Her bouncing back and forth is really irritating, especially when she has sex with both of them as she rotates turns. Sleeping with a guy a day after you slept with another guy just skeezes me out a bit. At the end of the book Kiyo seems to be campaigning really hard for her to never develop her magic anymore. I still think there's something hinky about him. I don't think he's going to be pleased with Eugenie's determination to get her power rush in the next book. ***END SPOILERS*** I still plan on reading the next book, Thorn Queen. The second book was recommended for a pick-it-for-me challenge, so I just needed to read this one so I wouldn't be lost. Hopefully the second book smooths out the kinks and is more engaging.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought about whether this was one or two stars while I was reading the last forty pages. I already knew we'd sailed right on by three stars. Even though I enjoyed Mead's YA series this book was ultimately not for me. First and foremost, I am not a big fan of fairies. Authors usually try to make these ancient myths their own and inevitably fuck it up. Mead's no exception here. It might have been passable, but the world building was half-assed. I don't think Mead really knew the rules she was t I thought about whether this was one or two stars while I was reading the last forty pages. I already knew we'd sailed right on by three stars. Even though I enjoyed Mead's YA series this book was ultimately not for me. First and foremost, I am not a big fan of fairies. Authors usually try to make these ancient myths their own and inevitably fuck it up. Mead's no exception here. It might have been passable, but the world building was half-assed. I don't think Mead really knew the rules she was trying to set up. I still don't get why spirits and Greek gods were involved with the fairy stuff. It makes me think that the novel started off as either a ghost-hunter novel or a fairy-whatever novel and she merged one idea with another when the world building didn't leave enough conflict for a real story. The characters aren't particularly well-developed, especially the love interests. Kiyo is incredibly generic. He's like every shape-shifting alpha-male character in every paranormal romance ever. The things that might have made him more unique or interesting were glossed over in favor of him fighting to the death to protect Eugenie. Blah blah crap cliches and cheap insta-love galore. He gets very few actual conversations between him and Eugenie -- mostly their interactions are just summaries. I would've liked to know more about his other relationship, why he ended it and how he felt about fathering a child by someone he wasn't with. Even his human existence as a vet was more interesting than the pile of crap cliches we got. Dorian was more of the same. Wish fulfillment over substance. Powerful king interested in Eugenie despite her lack of social skills and missing personality. His motivations and desires are tossed aside for his love of this woman he barely knows. Blah, I hope he's lying or it's just so boring. I didn't think the romance in Mead's YA series was well developed and this book is more of the same. She seems to think it suffices to say someone's in love rather than have an emotional connection develop. It doesn't work. There's obviously something missing. The stuff that really made this not for me though was all the rape as plot. A huge portion of the plot is driven by every fairy with a dick's desire to knock Eugenie up, willingly or unwillingly. On top of that, Eugenie never really deals with the fact that she's pretty much decided children are totally off the table for her or examines her now split loyalty between the worlds with any depth. Everything that could've been substantial was tossed aside for some bondage. Eugenie spends half the book fighting off rapists and then in this weird and truly creepy sex scene she basically requests it. It wasn't a fun little foray into the world of bondage, at least not with how mixed her feelings were about sleeping with the man in question. Part of her mind kept rejecting the idea of him, but she was still interested in the sex so she suggested he tie her up so that pesky side of her brain and personality would have less of a say. Umm what? Ew. Reading about multiple rape attempts and psychological confusion between rape and bondage was a stressful and annoying thing. Dominate-submissive sex can be fun, but Eugenie's conflict over it made it skeevy. Since I can't twist my brain to find Eugenie's tactics acceptable, I'll say it from the guy's point of view. I would never want to have sex with someone who needed to be tied up because they were otherwise too repulsed by me to have sex. She was perfectly capable of consensual sex with another man earlier in the book, but to overcome her discomfort with the second guy she needed part of her free will taken away. Sorry, not romantic, not sexy. Bondage is fine by me, hell, all sex games are fine by me as long as it takes places between two completely consenting adults. 75% consensual is 25% Lucy throws up in a hat. Domination is different from rape. Overall this book does people who are into bondage a disservice by lacing it up with a weird mental rape. There were a lot of interesting things that could've been explored. The validity of the prophecy that led to all the drama, Eugenie sacrificing the possibility of children, her relationship with her parents or her exploration of her real heritage. Instead every inch of the plot went back to sex, nonconsensual, somewhat consensual, completely consensual. Listen, there's no such thing as somewhat consensual sex. You either want to or you don't. I felt skeeved that the characters thought there were shades of gray and horrified that another woman was suggesting the line was blurry. It. Is. Not. Blurry. The rest of the plot was even more cliche. The I-have-a-secret-fairy-parent thing has been done to death. Shoot it and put it out of its misery. One star, no interest in continuing the series unless I've lost some kind of bet and it's between book two and shaving my hair.

  12. 4 out of 5

    FlibBityFLooB

    I knew it was going to be a different sort of book when the first couple pages talked about a haunted shoe. I can’t say that I have ever read a book with haunted clothing before. One of the things I appreciate in the over-crowded world of urban fantasy is when an author makes an attempt to build a world with interesting and unique creatures. If the only thing you read about is vampires, that can be very boring. I liked Richelle Mead’s world building in this book with elementals, water spirits, g I knew it was going to be a different sort of book when the first couple pages talked about a haunted shoe. I can’t say that I have ever read a book with haunted clothing before. One of the things I appreciate in the over-crowded world of urban fantasy is when an author makes an attempt to build a world with interesting and unique creatures. If the only thing you read about is vampires, that can be very boring. I liked Richelle Mead’s world building in this book with elementals, water spirits, gentry, creatures that cause immense depression, “pet” foxes, etc. Good stuff. The charming character of Dorian was definitely an enigma. I loved how he both preyed on the heroine, Eugenie, and yet also tenderly cared for her. I appreciated that he had wisdom that some of the other characters, including Kiyo, didn’t seem to show. I think he was a very calculating character, thinking through things carefully with his brain instead of merely with his pants. I found it a little puzzling that Dorian was described to have both infinite patience and be subject to extreme bouts of boredom within a few pages of each other. I suppose a lot of Dorian’s appeal to me also rested in the fish-out-of-water plotlines he provided. I loved him chewing on a milky way while drinking wine, poking at the plastic slinky because he didn’t know what it was, and being obsessed with credit cards. I loved him wanting Eugenie to take him to bars: “Take me to one of those places where human women wear revealing clothing and quickly lose their virtue through alcohol.” Dorian really did have some of the best lines in the book. When asked about whether her magic had progressed enough, I loved his sarcastic reply to Eugenie: “You found the water. Now, you have to do something with it. Your enemies won’t be impressed when you inform them there’s a lake just over the hill.” While reading, I thought that Eugenie’s ability to sense water would certainly come in handy in the desert if she lost her camel, but I wasn’t sure what else it would be good for. Does Eugenie even have a camel? Hmmm… Another favorite line of mine, when Dorian was painting one of his armored warriors and was questioned why he painted a bow on the warrior: “It matches the chaise. I had to add it, otherwise you would have clashed.” I became disenchanted with the character of Kiyo as the book progressed. Originally, when his character was introduced, I was very attracted to the idea of him. However, as the author revealed more about his character and his past, he lost a lot of his glamour. I don’t dislike Kiyo, though, and I do think that having him around will keep intrigue with the love triangle in future books. ******* slightly spoilerish below ******* I particularly enjoyed the submission banter and game between Dorian and Eugenie. Power was an underlying theme throughout their relationship and I thrived on it. Eugenie summed it up well by saying he was an enemy she had come to crave. Very interesting indeed. I loved how Dorian wouldn’t let Eugenie have her way in the end and made her tell him exactly what she wanted. The fact that Eugenie had to say PLEASE was very exhausting as a reader, yet very satisfying in the end. :) :) :) I am dying to know when Eugenie will bother to share her Dorian-sexcapades with Kiyo. The most frustrating part of the entire novel for me was waiting for Eugenie to call the water to put out the fire surrounding Dorian. I wanted to grind my teeth waiting for her to actually use her noggin to realize she could use her magic to fix the situation. There was a lot of relief in her pulling the water out of her foe fairy king. *whew* True, I will concede that the overall plot to this particular entry wasn’t *that* unique to other urban fantasy I’ve read (outcast female heir who doesn’t quite fit the fae world and everybody wants to bed or impregnate… Meredith Gentry… Mona Lisa… Fever series… etc.), but I really did like the book none-the-less because it was still able to remain its own entity apart from the others.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Choko

    *** 4 *** Another Wednesday, another Urban Fantasy series... Because we love the Fae and all the chaos that surrounds them at BB&B!!! We got dunked in action from the first sentence in this first book of the "Dark Swan Series". Eugenie Markham, aka Odile Dark Swan, is one baaaad chick!!! She is confronted by an ancient Death Spirit, who so happens, at this moment has moved to live in a dude's shoe! And not just any old shoe, his lucky racing fancy sneakers!!! Not to worry! Eugenie has been called *** 4 *** Another Wednesday, another Urban Fantasy series... Because we love the Fae and all the chaos that surrounds them at BB&B!!! We got dunked in action from the first sentence in this first book of the "Dark Swan Series". Eugenie Markham, aka Odile Dark Swan, is one baaaad chick!!! She is confronted by an ancient Death Spirit, who so happens, at this moment has moved to live in a dude's shoe! And not just any old shoe, his lucky racing fancy sneakers!!! Not to worry! Eugenie has been called for the job of exorcising the spirit because she is highly qualified to do so. She is a powerful shaman who protects the human world from Fae, Gin, Spirits and all sorts of other Otherworldly varmint. On this particular day, she learns that the creatures of the Otherworld have learned her full name and this does not bode well for her personal safety and well-being... This is also the day she starts having to fend off all types of sexual advances, some more civil then others, weird incidents, and even attacks on her life, all seemingly originating in the Otherworld with the Fae, or Gentry, as they are called here... Apart from action involving safety and protection of life and limb, Richelle Mead gives us some between the sheets action starting quite early on... I have never read any of her work before, but I was told she enjoys adding some sexy times in her books, for the spice of it... I have to admit, some of it was quite hot, but not all of it hit the mark... Also, I know I have a bit of an issue when the heroine is gorgeous, but ooo, she hes no idea she is that appealing, and o why, o why do all those men throw themselves in her feet? Well, in this particular situation all these men have some extra incentives to get her in bed, so it was not as bothersome as it could have been... In fact, whole conspiracies and proposals of the type she dare not refuse, are being thrown at her from just about every male not of this world and she soon finds out the reasons why she has become "The Bachelorette of the Year" all of a sudden. Needles to say, Eugenie is not pleased! There are some cool characters in this, starting with three spirits, two of whom are bound to E and one suffers from depression, while the other constantly plans of new and gruesome ways to kill her and ravels in telling her exactly how:):):) Couple of gorgeous dudes, one a Fox, the other a King with a sexual bondage obsession, and a very entertaining pseudo-American Indian, who steals every scene he is in! I want him as a house mate as well!!! There are also some questionably smart parents, a devoted and mislead brother, and a series of creatures who either want to fuck or kill our suddenly popular shaman... On the way, she finds out some very interesting and self-image-shattering things about herself. So, maybe her hatred of the Fae should get tempered by the new discoveries... Maybe... Storm Born is a solid first book in a series! I enjoyed both the plot and the writing, although I am a bit uncomfortable and do not trust neither of the love interests... Apart from that, this seems to be very promising and I am excited for the upcoming Wednesday when we start the next book. I wish all of you Happy Reading and Happy Olympic Games, Y'all!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Denisa

    Not a bad start for a new series! While I can't say this book was "wow!!", it was good enough to make me really curious about the next one. I like the world builder and I love the fact that it's fast-paced. Dunno what to say about the main char yet, but she has potential. Let's see how this goes! Not a bad start for a new series! While I can't say this book was "wow!!", it was good enough to make me really curious about the next one. I like the world builder and I love the fact that it's fast-paced. Dunno what to say about the main char yet, but she has potential. Let's see how this goes!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie (jjmachshev)

    Fascinating! I couldn't put "Storm Born" by Richelle Mead down! I read her 'succubus' series, but this is so much more. More fantasy, more characters, more worlds, and WAY hot fae, humans, and shifters (kitsune). Eugenie, Odile, Dark Swan...she's all these, and now she's about to find out that she's also so much more she never knew. Eugenie is a powerful shaman who banishes spirits and fey out of the mortal world into either hell or back to their world, depending on their crime. She's never actua Fascinating! I couldn't put "Storm Born" by Richelle Mead down! I read her 'succubus' series, but this is so much more. More fantasy, more characters, more worlds, and WAY hot fae, humans, and shifters (kitsune). Eugenie, Odile, Dark Swan...she's all these, and now she's about to find out that she's also so much more she never knew. Eugenie is a powerful shaman who banishes spirits and fey out of the mortal world into either hell or back to their world, depending on their crime. She's never actually made a trip physically into the otherworld, but when she takes the case of a kidnapped teenager who's being held by a fae, she decides the only way is to go in physically, grab the girl, and get out! What she finds instead is a legacy she never knew about, the guy she recently slept with isn't totally human, and one of the fae kings is into bondage...and Eugenie! To make matters worse, she's being sought by just about every creature imaginable who wants to breed a child on her, willing or unwilling, to fulfill a prophecy. She needs the fae king's help to learn how to control her magic and she's pretty sure about what he will want in return. How in the heck is she gonna get out of this one? Fast paced, high energy urban fantasy. "Storm Born" and Eugenie's story is one of the best new urban fantasy/romance/paranormal stories I've read in quite a while. Now I'll have to wait an entire year for "Thorn Queen", the next book in this series. I'll keep reading Richelle Mead's succubus stories, but if the next book is anything like one, this new series is destined for my keeper shelf.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Dare I say I loved this more than the Georgina Kincaid series? Well at least, compared to Succubus Heat, Storm Born is better written, more exciting and most of all: funnier. Meet Eugenie Markham aka Odile Dark Swan, a powerful shaman who protects the human world from Fay, spirits and other Otherworldly creatures. Due to a series of unfortunate incidents, attacks for her life, a conspiracy and indecent proposals from just about every male Fay creature, Eugenie finds out some pretty interesting t Dare I say I loved this more than the Georgina Kincaid series? Well at least, compared to Succubus Heat, Storm Born is better written, more exciting and most of all: funnier. Meet Eugenie Markham aka Odile Dark Swan, a powerful shaman who protects the human world from Fay, spirits and other Otherworldly creatures. Due to a series of unfortunate incidents, attacks for her life, a conspiracy and indecent proposals from just about every male Fay creature, Eugenie finds out some pretty interesting things about herself. The new revelations in her life and the shifts of friend and foe, force Eugenie to realize that the world is not as black and white as she always thought it was. Storm Born is the first of the Dark Swan series and it is very promising. It has a good plot with good pacing and lots of (dry) humor. Eugenie is a wonderful protagonist and the secondary characters are equally entertaining. Kiyo the 'foxy' kitsune, Dorian the Fay King who loves himself some bondage, Tim the Polish wannabe Native American and Wil the paranoid conspiracy theorist amongst others. But I especially loved the minions: Volusian the perpetually homicidal ghost and Nandi who was ever so depressed and fatalistic. Can't wait to start Thorn Queen, the second in the series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Very much enjoyed this book while realising simultaneously that I am a crushing book snob! When wondering how many stars to give this book I wanted to give it 4 stars. Then I thought about a couple of real (here comes the snob bit) 'quality' books that I have also awarded 4 stars. Was one type of book 'better' than another? How do we measure a book's worth. Is it an intellectual exercise, an emotional one? Well I'm sure we would answer this in different ways. I think for me, I measure within a g Very much enjoyed this book while realising simultaneously that I am a crushing book snob! When wondering how many stars to give this book I wanted to give it 4 stars. Then I thought about a couple of real (here comes the snob bit) 'quality' books that I have also awarded 4 stars. Was one type of book 'better' than another? How do we measure a book's worth. Is it an intellectual exercise, an emotional one? Well I'm sure we would answer this in different ways. I think for me, I measure within a genre as well as by how involved or entertained I am. So this amusing fast paced urban fantasy lite gave me a great deal of reading pleasure and entertainment. Another book may have a far more complex plot, tons of historical detail and in-depth character development and world building and have taken years to write and get the same rating. I think part of me feels I *shouldn't* like this. So I guess it's a bit like food. Sometimes you want a gourmet meal while another time a granola bar will hit the spot. I really liked this book. And when I say 'so there!' I'm largely talking to myself!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fani *loves angst*

    2.5 stars I can't write a review about this but here are my thoughts: Pros: 1. I liked the worlds Mead built in this one. Complex and simple at the same time and very intriguing. 2. It was fast paced, full of action and easy to read. 3. There was a love triangle, something I like lately. 4. There was a lot of chemistry and passion between the heroine and one of her potential love interests and I really liked them together although most readers disagree with me. 5. The second hero although bland at the 2.5 stars I can't write a review about this but here are my thoughts: Pros: 1. I liked the worlds Mead built in this one. Complex and simple at the same time and very intriguing. 2. It was fast paced, full of action and easy to read. 3. There was a love triangle, something I like lately. 4. There was a lot of chemistry and passion between the heroine and one of her potential love interests and I really liked them together although most readers disagree with me. 5. The second hero although bland at the beginning, seemed to become more and more interesting as the story progressed. By the end of the book, he definitely -and irrevocably I'm afraid- became my favorite. 6. The twists in the end of the book me completely by surprise and made me wonder if reading the second book is not such a bad idea after all. Cons: 1. I didn't like the heroine. In fact, I hated her for half of the book. She was impetuous, ornery, prejudiced and believed that fighting is the solution to all and any problems. She calls that bravery; I call that stupidity. On the up side, she got rid of some of those characteristics in the second half. 2. Though there was chemistry between her and one of her suitors, the author decided to throw him a curveball from which I doubt he (or I) can recover. Unfortunately, the heroine seems to be set on this guy besides the huge problem still hanging between them. 3. On the other hand, the alternative does not seem good either; IMHO, there was very little chemistry between her and the second guy. This is a 'between the hammer and the anvil' situation and I can only hope Mead tackles it differently in the second book. 4. The fighting system is very complicated. Wands, hand-combat technics, guns, swords, athame, magic incantations and elemental magic, all are used simultaneously by the heroine during battles and make it hard for the reader to follow. 5. The first 200 pages are one prolonged prologue. There were tons of fights as the heroine battles with someone daily, but the story just doesn't move forward at all. It was only after the heroine learned of the prophecy and her role in it that the pace and plot picked up. Had not all readers tried to convince me that the second book is much much better than this one, the series would have ended here for me. As things stand, I still might give the second book a chance in the future but not with any enthusiasm.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    Fun fun fun! I love Vampire Academy but I haven't been able to get into the Georgina Kincaid books as much, so it's great to find that this series is so entertaining. Eugenie, like all of Richelle Mead's heroines, is a kick-ass character and both Kiyo and Dorian are appealing in different ways. Some great action scenes, in both the battle field and the bedroom. Looking forward to starting Thorn Queen.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    I friggin' loved that this UF had a kitsune! How cool is that? I love Richelle Mead -- her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series are two of my absolute favorite YAs and UFs... so it's about time I got around to starting her adult series. :P

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    DNF - 54% Yes, well, I am at 54% and I'm going to stop. I honestly don't care much about any of the characters. Eugenie? Strong, but not so strong, but strong. And she hates fairies, but she kind of likes them after all, but she hates them. Bah! So annoying. Not to mention she tells her stepdad that faeries are out to bed her, but he keeps quiet about everything. And the big-evil-father is so obvious, I dare people to say they did not see that one coming. Kyio? First guy to get inside Eugenie's pa DNF - 54% Yes, well, I am at 54% and I'm going to stop. I honestly don't care much about any of the characters. Eugenie? Strong, but not so strong, but strong. And she hates fairies, but she kind of likes them after all, but she hates them. Bah! So annoying. Not to mention she tells her stepdad that faeries are out to bed her, but he keeps quiet about everything. And the big-evil-father is so obvious, I dare people to say they did not see that one coming. Kyio? First guy to get inside Eugenie's pants only about 10% into the book. I thought to myself, wow, must be an adult book... wonder how that will play out. But then the girl goes all YA-ish, and I deeply dislike YA. Not to mention Maiwenn, Kyio's ex, who's obviously some secret evil woman, and I don't have the patience to read an entire series to get that proven to me. Dorian? The other man of the love triangle. I find him more interesting than Kyio, but not enough to finish the book, let alone the series. And what's all that let's-rape-her thing? It's so annoying, I just don't feel any more sympathy for Eugenie anymore. I'm forever spoiled by the likes of Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews. Now that's good urban fantasy/PNR!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ky Baeza

    And here I come, this is my comeback to fantasy, it only took me two-ish years! I have only read one series by Richelle Mead and that's Vampire Academy; I read that one when I was 13-ish and honestly, I don't remember much of the plot and writing style so, I really was shocked with this book. There will be some spoilers I really liked this book!!! I'm giving it 3 stars because I can see this series growing, and I will keep the 5-star rating when I can feel Dorian as the sole love interest. This boo And here I come, this is my comeback to fantasy, it only took me two-ish years! I have only read one series by Richelle Mead and that's Vampire Academy; I read that one when I was 13-ish and honestly, I don't remember much of the plot and writing style so, I really was shocked with this book. There will be some spoilers I really liked this book!!! I'm giving it 3 stars because I can see this series growing, and I will keep the 5-star rating when I can feel Dorian as the sole love interest. This book is really taking me back to the 2010s. Ugh, okay, let's talk characters and plots. Eugenie is a great character, sometimes she is mildly dumb (LOL) but I really like her. I really like that she's powerful by her own right, she is already deadly. What I don't like is her choice of men, BUT I can respect it until she realizes the superiority. Dorian is one of my favorite characters in this book, he's just fresh air from my usual love interest in some ways. He gives me off this vibe of Alice in Wonderland and I really like it. Also, I love Volusian and I miss Nadin so very much, I love her sense of humor. For the people that may be asking themselves (lol, no one) about my standing on Kiyo, I literally do not care about him. Not in the angry-'I don't care about him' kind of way. I just literally cannot find a reason to hate him in this book (maybe on the next ones) and the only thing I find worth mentioning is that I find annoying how he is present with Eugenie and Dorian, even when he's not there. Eugenie has it bad for that dude, honestly. Something I find disturbing is the way the word 'rape' gets thrown in this book. I understand that it has a reason to be in the book, still, a warning/disclaimer at the beginning of the book would have been nice for people that are more sensitive to it than myself. Plotwise, I found it entertaining but at some point I just thought it was not cohesive enough. I applaud that Richelle did not make the whole book develop in three days, she took her time to build it but at some point, it felt like events that did not carry any momentum. I think this book established the differences between Dorian and Kiyo. Let's talk about the sex scenes since I feel there its where it lays the difference. From my point of view, the difference between Dorian and Kiyo lays on the way their relationships were built. For Eugenie, being with Kiyo is always sexually charged but with Dorian is different; Dorian and she made a connection before having sex, but even when they did it, it felt impersonal to Eugenie, much to Dorian's dismay. So, I hope that when they have sex again it will reflect some growth in their relationship. For me, Kiyo and Eugenie's relationship is sexual. He is always waiting for her to do "the right thing" and this right thing is based solely on his morals. I really believe what Volusian told Eugenie at the end of the book, and I feel that the turning point between Kiyo and Eugenie is going to come when he has to choose between Maiwenn and Eugenie. As a quick mention, I think Jasmine's plot was good, I really want to see how that one develops. Anyway, I cannot wait to read the next one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Even though it took me a while to read this book, with other books coming out and all the trips I've been going on, it was amazing. I am a HUGE Vampire Academy fan, so when I went to Borders to get a few new books I wanted to read Richelle Mead's Succubus Blues series. Unfortunately, they were out of stock of the first installment, so I went with the Dark Swan series instead!

  24. 4 out of 5

    AH

    Storm Born has one of the funnier opening scenes that I have read in a while involving a haunted shoe. It also has a very sexy fairy king who is very good at tying complicated knots. Add in a prophecy about the heroine's unborn and unconceived child, and a shapeshifting fox, and you have a very fun read. Eugenie Markham, or Odile Dark Swan is a shaman who banishes spirits and fey from our world. She is hired to find a missing human child and must travel to the Otherworld to find her. There, she d Storm Born has one of the funnier opening scenes that I have read in a while involving a haunted shoe. It also has a very sexy fairy king who is very good at tying complicated knots. Add in a prophecy about the heroine's unborn and unconceived child, and a shapeshifting fox, and you have a very fun read. Eugenie Markham, or Odile Dark Swan is a shaman who banishes spirits and fey from our world. She is hired to find a missing human child and must travel to the Otherworld to find her. There, she discovers that she is part of a prophecy where her child will destroy our world. Soon, all sorts of creatures try to either kill or rape her. Eugenie discovers her roots and learns to use her powers with the help of Dorian, the fairy king. Did I mention that Dorian was sexy? Dorian probably has the best lines in the book. Lines that make you want to melt... Dorian's training methods might make some readers uncomfortable as they do involve a lot of knot tying. The supporting characters add humor and color to the story. Kiyo, the shapeshifting fox, is equally at home in both the fairy world and our world and serves as both a lover and protector of Eugenie. One of Eugenie's minions - Volusian - is especially memorable. While his spirit is bound to Eugenie, he must do her bidding. Should he be released from his bounds, he will most definitely kill her. I'm looking forward to reading Thorn Queen.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    This is a decent start to a series. Solid world building and interesting charcters are introduced. It is a very sexy book - shockingly sexy almost. But for me, something kept it from being great. I did not connect with the heroine and I almost didn't care what happened. I enjoyed her interactions with Kiyo and Dorian and then her interactions with her imprisoned spirits, those were the highlights for me. I listened to the audio and the narration is decent. I may just be all Meaded out as I just f This is a decent start to a series. Solid world building and interesting charcters are introduced. It is a very sexy book - shockingly sexy almost. But for me, something kept it from being great. I did not connect with the heroine and I almost didn't care what happened. I enjoyed her interactions with Kiyo and Dorian and then her interactions with her imprisoned spirits, those were the highlights for me. I listened to the audio and the narration is decent. I may just be all Meaded out as I just finished the Georgina Kincaid and Vampire Academy series. I do like how she pushes boundaries with her female characters. Mead's adult female characters are not chaste and have no regrets about that. This Mead theme is definitely refreshing in the urban fantasy/paranormal genre. I likely will read #2 eventually. Favorite line in the book (or one of them, Mead is good with one liners): "I needed tequila and def leopard in copious amounts and fast."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Kosiner

    I wanted to read storm born because I have really enjoyed all of Mead's books, both adult and young adult. I have avoided this one for a while because I wasn't really sure about the whole shaman aspect of it but I think I just didn't really understand what that meant. The main character is Eugenie and she basically uses magic to banish creatures such as the fae or other creatures that are causing problems for humans. She either kills them our she send them back to the Other world. The romance i I wanted to read storm born because I have really enjoyed all of Mead's books, both adult and young adult. I have avoided this one for a while because I wasn't really sure about the whole shaman aspect of it but I think I just didn't really understand what that meant. The main character is Eugenie and she basically uses magic to banish creatures such as the fae or other creatures that are causing problems for humans. She either kills them our she send them back to the Other world. The romance in this one was pretty hot and yes it was kind of an insta love and at the very least insta connection, but I do think that two people can connect on a fairly deep level after a few hours of conversation. I enjoyed them together but I didn't really realize all of the intricacies of the plot that would change how I felt both of them. There was a love triangle type situation but I can't really talk much about it because it would be a spoiler, but it was a unique set up. I kept pulling for Kiyo, but I liked Dorian as well. Dorian is a king, and even he admits that he has his own motivations for helping Eugenie, but he does keep his promises, and he shows a kind heart in doing so. But I also have to wonder how much manipulation was going on, and where his hunger for power crosses with his affinity for her. Kiyo also has elements of his past that are chasing him, and for all his and Eugenie's talk of honesty, they both end up keeping big things from the other, and it blows up in their faces. But they aren't the only ones with secrets, and even things that she thought were solid, her background and what she understands as her history are are called into question. The secondary characters were wonderfully done. I liked the queen, Volusian, Eugenie's roomie Tim. They all had depth and provided some advice as well as needed comic relief. There were lots of twists and surprises that kept the plot going, and me guessing. There were a few things that I realized just before they happened and it was just as impactful, maybe even more so because like Eugenie, I didn't really expect it. I will definitely continue this series, and I recommend it if you like Mead's YA, even though it does have some more adult situations. Bottom Line: Love the strength of the main character and the tangled webs she gets herself into.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Storer

    This is the first in the new Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead, author of the incredibly successful Vampire Academy and Succubus novels. Eugenie Markham (aka Odile) is a head-strong and independent character who is instantly likable. The opening few pages quickly sucked me into Eugenie's life as a Shaman with humour and combat as she fights to banish a spirit from a haunted running shoe! This book is full of action and for the most part the plot is fast-paced and when one fight ends another one This is the first in the new Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead, author of the incredibly successful Vampire Academy and Succubus novels. Eugenie Markham (aka Odile) is a head-strong and independent character who is instantly likable. The opening few pages quickly sucked me into Eugenie's life as a Shaman with humour and combat as she fights to banish a spirit from a haunted running shoe! This book is full of action and for the most part the plot is fast-paced and when one fight ends another one begins or passion ensues with one or the other of her lovers. The portrayal of the different worlds she travels in and out of are vivid and realistic. Her love interests: Kiyo, a sexy shapeshifter and Dorian, a bondage-loving Fairy King, are well written with love scenes giving just enough detail to tantalise without being too explicit. The only criticism I have is that the romance between Eugenie and Kiro occured too quickly. It would have been nice to get to know Eugenie first without her being in a relationship so soon in the story. The affair with Dorian, however, flourished at a much slower pace and when they eventually got together it was more satisfying. Verdict: This is urban fantasy at it's best. Strong female lead, magical lands, sexy and a plot that twists and turns until the very end, leaving you longing for more. I enjoyed this book immensely and I am really looking forward to reading more. A great start to a new series. Highly recommend it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Much to my chagrin, I did not like Storm Born. I was just irritated from start to finish with this book, and the source: Eugenie Markham. For some reason, I just could not stand Eugenie. Throughout the whole book, I just kept thinking something along the lines of, "Wow, Eugenie is really a bitch." I don't even know where to start with what I didn't like about her, so suffice it to say that I didn't. I actually liked the idea of the book, but Eugenie as the narrator diminished that small flame of Much to my chagrin, I did not like Storm Born. I was just irritated from start to finish with this book, and the source: Eugenie Markham. For some reason, I just could not stand Eugenie. Throughout the whole book, I just kept thinking something along the lines of, "Wow, Eugenie is really a bitch." I don't even know where to start with what I didn't like about her, so suffice it to say that I didn't. I actually liked the idea of the book, but Eugenie as the narrator diminished that small flame of hope I had for it to get better as the book went on. Although I liked the premise of the book, I felt that some things were not explained very well, such as some of the other types of creatures. The only thing that saved this from being a one star book was the fact that I actually did like Kiyo, Dorian, and Tim.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    ***Series re-read with friends in preparation for final book release - December 2011*** Original review score : 3.5 stars. I think I'll be keeping this rating. Notes upon second read : After having my opinions muddled by reading all 3 books and finding myself with conflicting feelings regarding all of the characters in the series, it was nice to go back to the start and relive some of the original love that I felt for Kiyo before everything started to go downhill. I found myself trying to decipher ***Series re-read with friends in preparation for final book release - December 2011*** Original review score : 3.5 stars. I think I'll be keeping this rating. Notes upon second read : After having my opinions muddled by reading all 3 books and finding myself with conflicting feelings regarding all of the characters in the series, it was nice to go back to the start and relive some of the original love that I felt for Kiyo before everything started to go downhill. I found myself trying to decipher every single thing that he said (goodness, so much of it could be construed at cryptic the second time around...). Even though I think there's a good chance that (spoilers through book 3) (view spoiler)[he could have had evil intentions all along and might end up being completely horrible with no redeeming qualities (hide spoiler)] , there's a part of me that saw genuine caring for Eugenie. I almost wonder if (view spoiler)[he'll allow himself to be killed when everything goes to shit, knowing that he screwed up too badly by taking Maiwenn's side one too many times to make things right, clearing the way for Eugenie and Dorian to be together. That's a completely random theory, but I just don't see there being any way for Kiyo to end up good, or end up with the girl. Not with so many fans hating him at this point. (hide spoiler)] I also found myself studying Dorian more the second time around. I found myself liking him more upon second re-read, but I also see why he didn't resonate with me in the first book. There wasn't much to know about him right away. He did grow on me quite a bit in book 2, so I'm looking forward to rediscovering what I liked about him. Nothing else new to report here. ***Original review, March 2011*** 3.5 stars, but that's not a criticism. I am already hooked on the series. It's pretty much official. This woman could re-write a textbook and I'd probably read it. The only reason this book got a 3 star GR rating from me is because it has the same type of start that both of Mead's other series had (Georgina Kincaid and Vampire Academy). Both of those series are fabulous as a whole, but had too much of an info dump in book 1, leaving me trying to process too much information about the characters and world, while taking a little bit of time before the story started to move. Putting that small detail aside, I have faith in Mead's ability to create a captivating story arc, and I know that I will become hooked on this series the same way I am with GK and VA. This woman has yet to fail in my book. She really is a talented storyteller. Storm Born has a unique world, with a female lead who is a half-human (half other being...not really sure on what the definition is yet) shaman who has inherited her dead father's ability to control water/elements around her. Eugenie Markham, the dark swan, has the ability to cross between the world of the living and both the otherworld and world of the dead. She's constantly being attacked by elementals wanting to get her pregnant. It must suck when your life is one big prophecy waiting to be fulfilled, and you're supposed to bring forth the heir that will take over the human world. Her two greatest allies (and possible enemies...motives are still a bit sketchy) and love interests are Kiyo and Dorian. Kiyo is a half human-half Japanese Fox Spirit. He's quite the testosterone fueled hottie warrior, yet he's a veterinarian in the human world. Gotta love the contrast. He also has two fox forms : the cute, little regular old red fox that he can shift in and out of at will, and the huge, massive Fox Spirit which he has trouble controlling. When he goes into warrior fox mode, he becomes larger than life, and can't shift back for some time, which is sort of a blessing and curse. King Dorian is the conceited male, used to getting his way. Eugenie intrigues him because she doesn't put up with his attitude. He reminds me of a watered down version of V'lane from the Fever series, but not as appealing. His one redeeming quality is his sense of humor. He is pretty damn funny. Dorian is power hungry and is mostly spending time with Eugenie to better his own interests, but he also has a soft spot for her. His motives are still sketchy, as are Kiyo's. I can't wait to see what will happen next for Eugenie, Kiyo and Dorian, in both this world and the otherworld.

  30. 4 out of 5

    ♔ Leah.

    Initially, this book was rated 2 stars but because I'm a sadistic, spiteful bitch I knocked a star off because I realised that Storm Born is just a soap opera within a soap opera. In a nutshell, Storm Born is a melodramatic pile of bullshit that could put Days of Our Lives or Eastenders to shame. First of all, I love faery folklore or any mythology of any sorts so this book perked an interest for me— only I was disappointed. Mead's attempt at world-building just seemed rushed and I don't think M Initially, this book was rated 2 stars but because I'm a sadistic, spiteful bitch I knocked a star off because I realised that Storm Born is just a soap opera within a soap opera. In a nutshell, Storm Born is a melodramatic pile of bullshit that could put Days of Our Lives or Eastenders to shame. First of all, I love faery folklore or any mythology of any sorts so this book perked an interest for me— only I was disappointed. Mead's attempt at world-building just seemed rushed and I don't think Mead put hardly any effort in even though she's got a great concept to work with. I think what bothered me was the fact that it was just there~ like an unused movie set. Like I said before, she could have gone to great heights with the ideas that she comes up with but she DOESN'T! Spend more fucking time on a coherent plot rather than sex scenes, for fuck's sake. There was a lack of plot because it's like Mead got every PNR cliché and threw it all together in one book— there was no climax, there wasn't even a motive for Eugenie to achieve, and no proper plot. It was like a porn meets Tinkerbell meets A Midsummer Night's Dream— only so half-assed it left me yawning. Eugenie. What a stupid name— I know it's petty but it bothered me because it was such a crap name that made you think of your weird, elderly neighbour who likes to talk with their gnomes and likes to stare at you when you go out of your house. It's just... odd. She had no personality and was a total Her Royal Mary-Sueness (a rather more deserving title than The Thorn Queen or whatever). She was exactly like Rose but surprisingly, more tolerable— I'm not surprised that all of Mead's heroines are pretty much the same and cannot differentiate between them. Just because she has tattoos of Roman Goddesses who are all totally dieties for girl power~ and feminine mystique~ doesn't make her a strong female character, Mead, she's the exact opposite. Eugenie is very slow at piecing things together but at least she doesn't talk about how amazing her tits are unlike Georgina and Rose. I loathe, deteste, abhor Kiyo. He is a sleazy dickhead who is has a sex addiction problem— I hated him when I learnt that he had long hair and his gross as fuck chat up line which would make my vagina shrivel. I remember the time I went up to London Dungeons and they showed us this torture tool which was used to slice of dicks— somebody needs to chop Kiyo's dick off. He is a huge asshole who really deserves to be run over by a fucking tank- I don't understand as to why Eugenie hasn't left his STD-ridden ass. There was redeeming part though was Dorian- I like guys with a witty sense of humour and he was enigmatic. Sure, he seemed quite light-hearted but he has this elusiveness and charisma around him so I found his character interesting. Without his character, this book would have gotten no rating at all for it's shitiness. Another character who gets an honourable mention is Volusian- despite being a evil creature- he actually possesses more logic than the heroine- see how fucked up this is? This book is just sex personified... and not in a good way. It's like sex... omg is that character development?... no, wait... it's just sex. Then following that is more sex... an event? Oh my!... preceded by sex. Is that a climax? No, that was meant sexually. Kiyo, probably, the dirty bastard. Finally sex, sex, SEX and can you guess what tops that all off? Please do. Sex is fine, I'm not a prude but when it's pretty much the plot? It makes me gag. Especially since it's not exactly tastefully done like HBO or something. This book gets a 1 star rating. It was crap.

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